With a constant focus on release from prison, we provide direct representation to people in the Illinois Department of Corrections, train and support attorneys who provide direct representation, and empower incarcerated people and their families to advocate for themselves.
Through its education work, led by formerly incarcerated people, IPP spreads awareness to community members, policy makers, and officials about the harms and racial injustice wrought by the criminal legal system and mass incarceration.
Through our advocacy work, we partner with other organizations to fight for short, medium, and long-term expansions of decarcerative policies and mechanisms.
A firm belief in the power of rehabilitation is central to meaningful criminal justice reform. We are all human, and humans make mistakes. We evolve and we grow. We improve, we learn, and we change our minds. That means people in prison, but it also means lawyers, judges, witness, law enforcement officers, politicians, and victims. Just as no one is defined by their worst act, no one is a prisoner to an old belief, a historical decision, or a past deed.
Our principles apply to all people, no matter the offense of conviction. We do not endorse policies that categorically exclude people from reform efforts based on their history, including offense of conviction.
Strategies to reform the criminal legal system must center Black and Brown voices and must explicitly acknowledge the role racism plays in the legal system’s history and ongoing operation.
Common sense and effective criminal justice reform will require input directly impacted people and their families. It will also require input from crime victims and law enforcement officers, as well as lawyers, judges, and policymakers.